People in the US and Europe are sleeping more because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to two new pieces of research published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.
One study found students were staying up later and sleeping longer. Another found some Europeans were staying in bed about a quarter of an hour longer, on average, since the pandemic.
Kenneth Wright and colleagues of the department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, compared the sleep schedules of 139 university students before and during the pandemic.
They found students were spending an average of 30 minutes longer sleeping on weekdays and around 24 minutes on weekends.
Plus, more students were getting the recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night. For weekdays, this number went from 84% to 92%.
Along with sleeping longer, students were also going to bed late about 50 minutes later on average on weekdays and 24 minutes on weekends.
The second study, carried out by Christine Blume at Switzerland’s University of Basel Center for Chronobiology, also found people were sleeping more.
In this case, the participants who were based in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, were averaging around 13 more minutes of sleep per night.
Blume suggests that people were working from home and able to get more work done during the day, leaving them more time to sleep.
But Blume and her coauthors found that their respondents were experiencing a decrease in sleep quality.
To help combat this, Blume suggested that people exercise more and make the most of natural light.